SUFFOLK (Yoxford), (E)
National Grid 00o00´/00o00´ N/A ha 40m?, coastal heathland with acid grasslands and some woodland (Scots Pine and non-native plantations)
Anytime (several visits September & October 2008)
Birding Site Guide
Together with Westleton Heath, which lies either side of the B1125, this is a large and important piece of well managed heath. To reach Dunwich take the A12 north out of Ipswich and then take the next right after Yoxford to Darsham and follow the signs to Westleton, take the road from here towards Dunwich and then south to the National Trust visitor centre. Here on top of the sea cliffs there is parking and there are toilet cafe and a shop. From here there are paths across the heath and also a path south down the hill and along the beach to Minsmere RSPB Reserve which adjoins the National Trust heath.
This is not the only access point however and any road around the heath has lay-bys to park and often paths leading onto the heath. Some areas are full Open Access, others have access only by Public Rights of Way and some areas are closed areas for conservation. Additional areas are fenced in the breeding season, and access may be restricted temporarily for sensitive nesting birds such as Stone Curlew.
Parts of the heath are owned and managed by a variety of conservation organisations including The National Trust, RSPB, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Natural England. The reserve is important for breeding Dartford Warbler, Nightjar, Wood Lark and Sky Lark. Marsh Harriers breed in this area and can be regularly seen.
One of the major non-avian attractions here is the Red Deer, particularly in the autumn rut. Organised events to see the rut are run by the RSPB from Minsmere every week and hundreds of people can turn up for the free open day weekend events.